Lebanon Reporter

May 3, 2014

Big first inning propels Tigers past Bruins

By Will Willems Sports Editor
Lebanon Reporter

---- — It was a first inning to remember for the Lebanon softball team Friday night when it hosted Tri-West.

The fourth-ranked Tigers sent 18 girls to the plate and scored 14 runs in the first inning before cruising to a 15-2 five-inning win against the 14th-ranked and defending state champion Bruins.

"We came to this game with some energy," Lebanon head coach Steve Smith said. "We had been looking forward to this game. They are a good team, they are well coached and they can score runs in bunches. We were ready to go. I liked our focus at the beginning. They made some errors and for once we capitalized on those because we don't always do that."

A couple of weeks ago, Smith said he didn't like the way the Tigers were starting off games.

The girls have been steadily improving in that area.

"Early in the season, we didn't seem to score runs until that fifth inning," Smith said. "Now we are coming out, scoring in that first or second inning with the energy and excitment and that is a good sign. We just need to get more consistent with it and keep doing it. But our girls did a good job."

Ashlyn Montgomery reached on an error to start the game and two batters later scored when Hannah Dybalski reached on an error.

After Carly Greene reached on fielders choice to put two runners on, Lexy Britt followed with a single to load the bases.

Whitney Cosgray singled to left and the ball got past the left fielder to the fence, allowing a second run to score to make it 3-0.

Jessica Weaver then reached on Tri-West's fourth error of the inning, with Britt and Cosgray scoring on a bad throw. Payton Hollis singled home Weaver, and after Kassidi Cadle walked Ashlyn Montgomery reached via error for the second time, allowing Hollis to score.

Brooke Montgomery singled home Cadle to make it 8-0 and put two runners on for Dybalski, who hammered a 3-run homer to make it 11-0.

It was the third-straight game with a home run for Dybalski.

"She has backed off herself mentally," Smith said. "She is really tough on herself. And when she doesn't hit one every time she can get frustrated. But she is starting to mature and understand that it is a law of averages. She has relaxed more at the plate and I think she is seeing the ball better."

For more of this story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.